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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did a repaint on cabinets over the winter, now the paint is starting to peel and crack in a few spots. Didn't find out about it until the lawsuit hit me, nice of her huh?

Anyways she's claiming it's due to poor surface preparation. What i'm saying actually happened is I painted it in her unheated garage (as per her request in -13c weather) I however set up 2 space heaters and a number of heat lamps and it was quite toasty warm in there. Anyways as soon as I finished coating and went home she went out to the garage and turned everything off cause thats expensive. Anyways I returned to frost covered cabinets.

They actually turned out pretty good it appeared.. much to my surprise. Anyways like I said several months later things have turned bad.

I probably would have fixed it for her if:
a, she had asked
b, part of her bill wasn't still outstanding and I'd written off
c, she did start calling/emailing me daily demanding I come fix it immediately.. i'm a busy guy!

Anyways, as far as I'm concerned it's her fault. Comments?

Oh, and she's mid 80's so I hope the judge doesn't have a mother.
 

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This is simple, if I steal an iPad from best buy can I return it for a warranty claim? She didn't pay for your services, counter sue her and start using contracts, you are a CONTRACTOR aren't you?

PS, don't use the word "anyways" in front of the judge. "Anyway" is and adverb and adverbs can't be plural. Use regardless instead. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
oh, she's suing for 2500, less than she paid but i did lots of other stuff. The contractor that she already hired to fix the cabinets charged 1800. I always offer a warranty on workmanship for 2 years. I do not however warrant customer error. Like I said I'm a nice guy and probably would have helped her out if she didn't go crazy on me but I don't think I had any legal obligation to do so. To use your ipad analogy, I consider freezing paint to be much like throwing the ipad in the washing machine then trying to return it.. paid or unpaid I doubt they'd do anything for you with the shattered screen and water dripping out of it.
 

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What's the customer error? She paid you to paint the cabinets, you choose to do it half ass in the garage and the paint peeled. Surely you knew when you saw them covered in frost that it was going to fail prematurely. Man up and make it right. Jeez man, you couldn't manage to give an 80 year old a decent set of cabinets and it's her fault? No wonder she didn't pay you in full. What's the rest of the story?

Just tell the judge you aren't responsible for it and it is the 80 year old lady's fault. That will work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So, you'd strip down and redo an entire kitchen because she couldn't follow directions and wanted to save a few bucks on heating?

And at what point did I indicate I did a half assed job? Or you disputing that freezing the paint before it sets could be the cause of the damage?
 

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No, I would have done it right the first time. I surely wouldn't have hung the cabinets once I found frost on them. I wouldn't have offered a warranty. I would have made her sign a disclaimer relinquishing me of any liability or future claims.

But none of that matters now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
well, the warranty is offered before the work is done i'm afraid and good luck on getting her to sign a waiver after the fact. And not in a million years would I have anticipated this happening so a waiver for that before the fact.. not part of my contract although it may be now.

As to hanging the cabinets you may be right about that. However she was already into me for several thousand 1000's and walking off the job and not hanging them would have left me in the same situation I imagine.. except she would have paid zero. Guess I was hoping for a bit of a hail mary there, however she was told that the paint was soft and as per a discussion i had with rustoleum was likely to set properly if given enough time... turned out this was wrong. Well, actually most of it was ok.. was just a few isolated patchs turned bad.
 

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So, it seems we have discovered that you made some mistakes ?

It happens to the best of us. It's how you handle it that matters. Put your pride aside and go visit with her. Have an honest conversation and you might be surprised just how understanding 80 year old ladies can be. Don't be another asshat that isn't accountable for his actions. Lord knows we have enough of them already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
not entirely sure i wouldn't do it exactly the same way next time though. How would the conversation go anyways with the cabinets.. "So um ma'am you froze the cabinets.. they're ruined.. so that'll be a couple grand extra to redo everything or I can just stop now and you won't have a kitchen... and can you pay me for the last 3 weeks I spent here before i go?"
or would you have gone with "so um ma'am you froze the cabinets.. but thats ok I'll just go out and re-buy all the materials and just spend the next couple weeks here redoing them for you.. free of charge of course cause you're older than me"
 

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My 80 year old mother did lots of things she wouldn't have done in her 70's or 60's. You will too.

Treat her like your mother...take the hit and get on with the next job. Just my 2 cents.
 

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jferrie said:
not entirely sure i wouldn't do it exactly the same way next time though. How would the conversation go anyways with the cabinets.. "So um ma'am you froze the cabinets.. they're ruined.. so that'll be a couple grand extra to redo everything or I can just stop now and you won't have a kitchen... and can you pay me for the last 3 weeks I spent here before i go?" or would you have gone with "so um ma'am you froze the cabinets.. but thats ok I'll just go out and re-buy all the materials and just spend the next couple weeks here redoing them for you.. free of charge of course cause you're older than me"
Are you stoned?
Do you know what a draw is?
A deposit?
Do you understand the concept of not financing a customers project with your money?

Next time get a deposit, as much as possible. Split up all the small jobs and contractually agree to be paid in phases. Sounds like you worked for 3 weeks without a single payment? Is that right?

Doesn't matter, you asked for comments, I offered them and you refuse to see the glaringly obvious errors on your part. I'm done beating this dead horse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
yeah, thats the only degree of guilt i feel... is because she's old.

However, if I want to do charity I can volunteer with someone who needs it. She seems pretty lucid to me.

I was still on the fence until i got hit with the lawsuit, before she even asked me to fix it. And the quotes she got to try and justify the repair costs are absurd. They have half a dozen things buried in them that she had asked me to price out and decided NOT to do because they were too expensive. Now they're forming part of the suit as well since they make up the basis for the pricing. Actually theres alot more evilness on her side but i don't feel like writing a book lol.

Ok, lets change the scenario... if she was a 30 year old dude that ruined his own cabinets would the answer change? If so, I'm counter suing... and hard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
as to a draw.... around here? good luck
I wish it was common practice but i'm canadian and we trust everyone lol
Closet thing you'll ever to see to a draw or advance around here is 25-30% on materials. Labour, forget about it. People pretty much take it to mean I don't trust you, and I'll probably never show up to do the work.
 

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Geeesh...I dunno.
Lots of missing info...
What were the cabs painted with initially?
Was there need to prime?
Did she turn the heat off during the priming coat?
Did she turn of the heat for the first paint coat?
Did she turn off the heat for the second paint coat?

The garage cooled down and froze quickly enough that caused your paint to fail?

Sounds more complicated than what's being told....
 

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jferrie said:
yeah, thats the only degree of guilt i feel... is because she's old. However, if I want to do charity I can volunteer with someone who needs it. She seems pretty lucid to me. I was still on the fence until i got hit with the lawsuit, before she even asked me to fix it. And the quotes she got to try and justify the repair costs are absurd. They have half a dozen things buried in them that she had asked me to price out and decided NOT to do because they were too expensive. Now they're forming part of the suit as well since they make up the basis for the pricing. Actually theres alot more evilness on her side but i don't feel like writing a book lol. Ok, lets change the scenario... if she was a 30 year old dude that ruined his own cabinets would the answer change? If so, I'm counter suing... and hard.
No, the answer wouldn't change. It's not about the customer or the job. It's about you, your values and your REPUTATION.
 
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